Nuclear Energy Promotion Plan Aims at Effective Use of Power, Resources
Under the principle of promoting the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and securing nuclear safety, the Korean government has actively pursued the following goals:
- To provide a stable electricity supply through the development of nuclear energy as the primary source of power generation;
- To achieve technological self-reliance in nuclear reactor and non- proliferation of nuclear fuel cycle development;
- To make the nuclear industry one of the major export industries through the participation of the private sector, and by actively promoting the development of commercial nuclear technologies;
- To expand the applications of nuclear technology to medical, agricultural, and industrial areas. In order to successfully achieve these goals, the Korean government established the Comprehensive Nuclear Energy Promotion Plan in June 1997, which aims to effectively use the nation's nuclear manpower and resources.
Research and Development
In 1992, MOST launched a 10-year national R&D program. The program aims to develop a wide range of technologies needed for the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. It also seeks to build a foundation for national self- sufficiency in energy.
In 1997, in consideration of the changing domestic and foreign research environments, MOST re-established the second-phase of the 10-year national R&D program, from 1997 to 2006. The national nuclear R&D program is funded by both the government budget and the Nuclear R&D Fund derived from a designated fraction of revenues from nuclear power generation. The R&D program is explained, as follows.
Development of small and medium size reactors
- Development of nuclear thermal hydraulic verification tests and evaluation technology
- Experimental and analytical research on severe accident phenomena
- Direct use of spent PWR fuel in CANDU reactor (DUPIC) fuel cycle development
- Development of spent fuel management technology
Medical cyclotron-related research and development
Development of medical therapy and treatment techniques
Development of safeguards technology
Development of advanced nuclear materials
Development of research reactor utilization technology
Nuclear Power Development Program
Since the first commercial operation of Kori unit 1 in 1978, nuclear energy has been an important energy source in Korea. As of December 1998, nuclear power generation accounts for about 41.7 percent of the total electricity generated.
In Korea, as in many other countries that are not endowed with natural energy resources, nuclear power has been considered to be the most economical and reliable energy source capable of meeting the increasing energy demand in order to sustain its economic development.
Fourteen nuclear power plants are currently in commercial operation, and six additional plants are under construction. Average capacity factor was 87.5 percent in 1997, marking the fifth consecutive year of more than 87 percent capacity factor.
By the year 2015, the share of nuclear energy generated will increase to 46 percent of total electricity generation, with twenty-eight nuclear units in operation. …